Free Church of Scotland division
Shortly before the January ET went to print, the Free Church of Scotland (FC) announced proposals for a settlement of outstanding issues between itself and the Free Church Continuing (FCC).
The FC Commission’s proposals include, ‘the termination of suspensions [upon ministers] imposed by the Commission on 20th January 2000 and other disciplinary measures applied by courts of the Free Church in consequence of the separation of January 2000’. This suspension would be ‘strictly on the grounds that the FCC is a denomination distinct from and separate from the FC’.
The proposals also call for discussion between the FC and FCC ‘at the level of local congregations, over the issues of disputed property, funds and other assets, with a view to reaching a solution’.
There are two caveats to these proposals. First, local solutions must not be ‘contrary to Scripture or the constitution of the Church, or flagrantly in breach of trust conditions’. And, second, failure to secure agreements will result in the FC taking ‘all appropriate steps by other means to secure [disputed] assets’.
The press release concludes: ‘The Commission are convinced that it would bring great blessing to the cause of Christ at large were these proposals to result in a satisfactory settlement’.